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- Harvard Health Publications: Glossary of Exercise Terms
- FamilyDoctor.org: Kegel Exercises for Your Pelvic Muscles
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Muscle Tensing Exercises
Muscle tensing exercises enhance the strength and definition of your muscles without weights; plus improve urinary continence. You can do muscle tensing exercises when you can’t get to the gym so you don’t miss your workout.
Dynamic tension exercises help you build and maintain muscle mass when you can’t get to the gym. Try doing repetitions of your regular exercises without the weights until you can’t do anymore. You might do 100 repetitions before tiring out. Tense the primary muscle used during the concentric phase of the exercise. Do biceps curls, shoulder presses, pec flies and leg extensions. Dynamic tension exercises are similar to a bodybuilding technique called “100’s,” where you use a reduced weight and do 100 repetitions for each exercise.
Isometric and Isotonic
Isometric and isotonic exercises involve tensing your muscles. The difference is, when you're isotonically exercising, you're moving against resistance as in bench presses. When you contract your muscle and hold the contraction, you are isometrically exercising your muscles. Both will enhance the chiseled look of your muscles; but avoid isometric exercises if you suffer from hypertension, circulatory or heart problems.
Tense and Relax
Sit with a straight back in a comfortable chair and use muscle tensing exercises for relaxation. The technique goes by a number of names, including tense-relax and progressive muscle relaxation. With the help of recorded or live instructions, a knowledgeable guide asks you to tense and then relax specific muscles in your body. Sometimes soothing, ambient music plays in the background. The key is to relax your other muscles and only tense the specified muscle. During the relaxation session expect to do things like clench your fists, contract your abs and squeeze your eyes shut.
Tense your PC muscle to improve the symptoms of incontinence. PC stands for pubococcygeus, which is a muscle stretching from your pubic bone to your tailbone. Both men and women can do these exercises. Do these exercises seated or standing while watching television, waiting in line or at the office. To do the exercise, tense the muscle you would use to stop your urine flow. Hold for 10 seconds, and do 10 to 20 repetitions per day. You can begin to see results after three to 12 weeks of this routine.
Victoria Weinblatt began writing articles in 2007, contributing to The Huffington Post and other websites. She is a certified yoga instructor, group fitness instructor and massage therapist. Weinblatt received her B.S. in natural resources from Michigan State University and an M.Ed. from Shenandoah University.